Tea for Two was the sweetest romance! I enjoyed it a lot and read it quickly. The plot was endearing and the author managed to make something painful like abandonment, suicide, divorce, etc. into a story with healing potential for people who are dealing with those issues. I loved that about this story. I've done a lot of counseling in my career and the way the story was set up worked very well because it was ethcial and believable. It was cute, actually.
The hero was awesome and dreamy, but also very much a "real" guy who happened to be a single dad dealing with typical teen problems. The author handled this very well and did a great job at showing how communication is so important as well as talking about loss rather than pretending everything is fine. I found the story very inspiring. I adored the heroine, too.
Somehow the author snagged my heart with this novel and kept me reading to the end. She has a way with words and with tenderness in stories. Rather than feeling disappointed by the lack of physical contact between characters, I felt the tension between them was perfectly done and added to the romantic tension in the story. I loved that it was more tender and emotional. It just fit the plot and the characters. Well done!
I love Trish Perry's books. She has a lighthearted style of storytelling that makes a reader feel like she knows the characters and is invested in their outcome. I particularly liked this book because of the sparks between the main characters, and because I really do love the setting. I enjoy the mix of humor and heart in all of Perry's books, but this one really stood out for me.
Tina Milano is a counselor who facilitates some group meetings at Milly's tea shop. One rainy day she nearly runs straight into Zack Cooper as he delivers fresh produce to the shop. She thinks he's kind of cute, and Zack says the same about Tina to Milly. Which gives Milly an idea.
Zack's wife left about four years ago, leaving him with two kids heading into their teen years. He's been losing his parenting grip and has no clue how to get back a relationship with his kids. Milly asks Tina if she ever takes on pro bono cases-and if she would help out this friend of hers. Tina agrees, and then finds out it's the hunky produce guy.
His kids walk in on Tina and Zack's very first meeting at the tea shop and immediately assume Dad has a girlfriend, and it's about time, and when was he going to tell them? Tina and Zack stammer a bit but let it go, both assuming this will give Tina more opportunities to find out what makes Dylan and Sherry tick.
As you can guess, they fall for each other and things get complicated and then resolved. This type of romance novel isn't in what is new, plot-wise, because we know how it will end. It's in the characters and the setting.
Zack Cooper is a farmer who sells his fruit and vegetables locally through a farmers' market, you-pick days, and delivering boxes to various restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, and (of course) the tea shop. This real food bit is my `thing.' This novel isn't about farming or local foods or healthy eating. It's about "the delight of second chances, warm friendship, and unexpected romantic encounters." In this case, the farm was a backdrop to the story, not an integral part of the plot.
I'm more-than-average sensitive about how farmers are portrayed, and I wasn't smitten with Zack at the beginning. He seemed stereotypical-a bit bumbling and clumsy, dropping food on his clothes-that sort of thing. He wasn't presented (to my eye) as somebody to fall in love with, as a HERO. And yes, as a farmer and local food advocate, I resented that a little! Of course, his kids think he's a moron, but it would be hard to find teenagers, especially troubled ones, who didn't think their father was out of touch. Thankfully his mannerisms seemed necessary to the plot and lessened as the story went on, and I enjoyed reading their tale.
Tea for Two is the second book in Tea with Millicent, a series of stand-alone novels by Trish Perry.
Trish has such a fun, laid back style of writing, she does have an entire Beach Series. This series follows along with that style but in a new setting and the common denominator between book 1 and book 2 is Milly and her tea shop. In Tea For Two Milly introduces one of her favorite delivery men to one of her favorite customers in an effort to help the single dad who is having a hard time with his two teenagers. So Milly suggests giving her customer, a counselor, a call to see if she would offer some pro bono advice. They inadvertently lead the kids to believe they are seeing each other and then they don't know how to get out of it... and so the fun ensues. This is a great book to take to the beach this summer, even though its not about the beach. So check out this series by Trish Perry for a fun, relaxing read.